1942 1st edition; Charles Scribner's Sons publishers, New York; hardbound with green boards and silver decoration; book in fair shape with aging and foxing (but not too bad); see pics; stamped inside front cover: "This book is the property of the American Lending Library, Inc. Never sold, only loaned".
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (August 8, 1896 – December 14, 1953) was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same name. The book was written long before the concept of young adult fiction, but is now commonly included in teen-reading lists.
In her autobiography Cross Creek first published in 1942, Rawlings described how she owned many acres of land and also hired many people to help her with day-to-day chores and activities. An entire chapter of the book is dedicated to one woman she hired, whose name was Beatrice, but whom she was affectionately known as "GeeChee", because the woman was ethnically part of the GeeChee people. In the book Rawlings said GeeChee's mother lived in nearby Hawthorne, Florida and GeeChee was blind in one eye from a fight she was involved in. GeeChee was employed by Rawlings on and off for nearly two years in which GeeChee dutifully made life easier for Rawlings. GeeChee revealed to Rawlings that her boyfriend named Leroy was serving time in prison for manslaughter, and asked Rawlings for help in gaining his release. She arranged for Leroy to be paroled to her and come work for her estate, and had a wedding on the grounds for Beatrice and Leroy. After a few weeks, Leroy aggressively demanded more earnings from Rawlings and threatened her. She decided he had to leave, which caused her distress because she did not want GeeChee to go with him, and was sure she would. GeeChee eventually decided to stay with Rawlings, but GeeChee began to drink heavily and abandoned her. Weeks later, Rawlings went out searching for GeeChee and drove her back to her estate, describing GeeChee as a "Black Florence Nightingale". GeeChee was unable to stop herself from drinking, which led a heartbroken Rawlings to dismiss her. Rawlings stated in her autobiography "No maid of perfection--and now I have one--can fill the strange emptiness she left in a remote corner of my heart. I think of her often, and I know she does of me, for she comes once a year to see me".
When Cross Creek was turned into a 1983 film, actress Alfre Woodard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as GeeChee.